Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has been selected to receive special award in the maiden Ghana Cocoa Awards for his immense contribution to Ghana’s cocoa sector.
The ECOM Ghana Cocoa Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to him at the Ghana Cocoa Awards Gala Night schedule for November 22 at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.
Founder of awards scheme, Mr Kojo Hayford, announced this when he paid a courtesy call on the former president at his residence in Accra.
“Your Excellency, our research team after extensive work identified you as standing tall among a number of individuals who have made a highly impactful contribution to Ghana’s cocoa sector in its recent history”, Mr. Kojo Hayford explained.
He congratulated President Kufuor for his leadership in the cocoa sector, noting policy initiatives such as the Mass Cocoa Spraying and cocoa hi-tech programmes introduced by Mr Kufuor during his tenure as President significant impacted on cocoa production.
“I am happy that through research you are according me this honour” Mr Kufuor said, and expressed joy that the effort of his administration is still having an impact on the nation.
He said cocoa is the single biggest contributor to the GDP of our country in the agricultural front, “so it’s not something we should trifle with”.
President Kufuor who served Ghana from 2001 to 2008 is credited to have contributed immensely to the one million metric tonnes cocoa production feat in 2010/2011 crop season.
Production was 389,774mt when he assumed office in 2001, with pests, diseases and soil nutrient depletion identified as the bane of the plummeting cocoa production levels.
His administration’s introduction of the Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Programme (CODAPEC) popularly known as Mass Cocoa Spraying and the cocoa Hi-Tech initiative in 2001/2002 would later have a far-reaching impact on Ghana’s production levels.
These flagship policy programmes coupled with other interventions are directly linked to the year-on-year rise in production levels, resulting in a record 710,638mt cocoa production in 2008/2009 and subsequently Ghana’s attainment of over 1million metric tonnes cocoa production in 2010/2011.
President Kufuor will be joined by six other highly distinguished personalities and organisations identified for recognition under the Special Awards Category of the historic first Ghana Cocoa Awards.
They are Mr Anthony Fofie, former Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board; Prof. Frederick Addai, Head of Anatomy at University of Ghana Medical School; Prof. Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, President of the Ghana Technology University College; Osabarima Kwame Otu Darte III, Omanhene of Akuapem-Mampong; Mr Yves Brahima Kone, Director-General of Council for Coffee and Cocoa in Ivory Coast, and the National Buffer Food Stock Company (NAFCO)
The seven GCA Special Award recipients were adjudged by the Selection Committee to have made impactful contributions in various capacities to the Ghana cocoa industry value chain in areas including policy, production and processing, farmer income and welfare, consumption promotion, health benefits of cocoa research and cocoa sustainability.
Also expected to join the celebration and Ghana Cocoa Awards networking Gala Night are Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Ghana’s cocoa trading partners including The Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, United States and China. Sister cocoa-producing African nations Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria are also expected to be represented.
Ghana Cocoa Awards, an annual celebration of excellence in the cocoa industry is powered by VC Media and supported by ECOM Ghana, Solidaridad West Africa, Hershey’s Company, Fairtrade Africa, RMG and AMP Logistics.